Damages awarded following delay in diagnosis of failed spinal fusion

We have secured settlement for our client following the delayed diagnosis of a failed spinal fusion, which resulted in two years of pain and suffering before revision surgery was performed.

Our client underwent a spinal fusion in June 2015 under a private surgeon. In recovery, he was noted to be in extreme pain and was taken back to theatre, where it was discovered that there was a misplaced screw. Although this was removed by the operating team, our client experienced ongoing pain, weakness and altered sensation in his back and legs following the surgery.

Despite attending numerous appointments with the private surgeon and stating that he was still in pain, our client was advised to return to work and that his spine was healing.

He attended a CT scan in July 2016 which was reported by a private radiologist. The scan showed that the fusion had indeed failed. However, neither the radiologist nor the surgeon picked this up.

Our client eventually sought a second opinion and underwent major revision surgery in February 2019. Whilst he continues to experience ongoing pain, weakness and altered sensation, this has improved dramatically since the second surgery.

Court proceedings were issued and served on both the original surgeon and the radiologist. While the radiologist admitted that the failed fusion should have been diagnosed in July 2016, the surgeon denied liability throughout the claim. There was also an ongoing dispute in relation to when our client would have undergone revision surgery. However, a joint settlement meeting was eventually successful in securing damages for our client to compensate him for the pain he endured due to the failed fusion and the delay in revision surgery being arranged.

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